Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

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A Good Name- Favor with God and Man

February 13th, 2011 · No Comments

This study looks at Proverbs 22:1, which states: “A good name is better than great riches, and favor better than silver and gold”. A good name is a good reputation that has been earned over time through two things: uprightness and benevolence. Uprightness involves meeting one’s obligations in relation to others. Benevolence/Goodness takes one beyond obligation into doing what is necessary to promote the welfare of another, which will involve sacrifice. The two together establish a good reputation, which is really about establishing God’s good Name, since we are His representatives.

Favor also flows from a righteous and benevolent way of life, favor with God and with man. Note that Jesus Himself during His youth grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man. This indicates that this does not happen in a day but is part of a growth process that occurs as one walks the path laid out in 2 Peter 1:3-7, which includes of course self-control (the controlling of one’s body and appetites) through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 3:1-12 provides guidelines for how this growth in favor takes place. We here find a father instructing and admonishing his son to walk in certain paths that will insure that he obtains favor with God and man. These “ways” may be remembered by means of simply acrostic:

Trusting in the Lord with all one’s heart (3:5-6)
Turning away from evil (3:7-8)
Tithing all the firstfruits of one’s increase (3:9-10)
Training under the hand of God’s fatherly discipline (3:11-12)

This stimulating message offers exhortation, admonition, and instruction that will provoke one in a godly way to pursue righteousness and to grow in conformity to God’s character, with a view to pleasing Him and walking in favor with God and man so that one might be a true light in the darkness, a witness in this world.

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